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Moos-Letter April, 2018

Moos-Letter April, 2018

Cheese Making Recipe of the Month

Washed Rind Monk Cheese Recipe

This month's recipe is in response to what has been happening to the monastic cheeses produced for the past few hundred years, and their almost complete disappearance from our cheese counters here in America.

In his effort to support these cheeses, Jim Wallace can't resist applying his own little tweaks to give us another of his unique and fabulous recipes.

You can help us keep the history of monastery cheeses alive by sharing this sweet, washed rind cheese with your friends and family - it's sure to be a favorite.

Cheese Making Questions & Answers

When do I smoke my Gouda?

Q. I would like to know when to smoke my Gouda. Do you do it right after you take it out of the brine or after it has cured for the 3 weeks?

A.Wait until the cheese is ripe. If you smoke too early, it tends to change the surface and potential ripening character.


Should I grill cheese while smoking it?

Q. What do you think about grilling cheese while smoking it?

A. Unfortunately, the grill method is just too hot. You need to cold smoke and keep the temp to the low 60s or even lower. Check out the many inexpensive cold smokers online.


When salting Gorgonzola, do you maintain it at the 90F?

Q. When salting Gorgonzola cheese, do you maintain it at the 90F temperature during the two days of salting ?

A. No, cheese should be moved to a cooler space once the form has settled and the whey stops running. This indicates the culture activity is slowing down. Salting is normally done at about 64-68F - what many consider to be room temperature today.


I realize that cheese making is as much art as a science but I'm wondering what went "wrong."?

Q. My first try at 30 Minute Mozzarella didn't go according to the recipe. I realize that cheese making (as in baking) is just as much art as science but I'm wondering what went "wrong."

I have unpasteurized milk from a local source. I put one gallon of cold milk in a stainless steel pot, added the citric acid, and using a whisk, stirred over a gas stove on medium heat and heated until 90F. It is possible that I went over 90F but not over 100F.

When I took out the whisk, it had already started to coagulate into a mass on the bottom. I added the rennet and gently stirred, covered the pot, then waited 5 minutes. When I checked the pot, there was no curd like in the photo. It was all at the bottom of the pot and it was already in a big blob. I skipped heating and cutting the curd and just heated it in the microwave and stretched. It formed a nice ball but I'm wondering what I did wrong.

A. This is primarily the difference between raw milk and pasteurized milk. Store-bought pasteurized milk just needs a whole lot more to make it form a good cheese because it's been through a lot.

With raw milk, the milk components are in much better condition and actually need a little bit less assistance. The first thing is that the temperatures can be reduced by a good 5 - 10°F. You may also find that you need a bit less rennet for this.

The downside of working with raw milk is that it is not a standardized product like what you buy from the store and, depending on the milk, may need a bit more or less citric acid. You may need 2 teaspoons instead of the 1.5 recommended. You may need to do a few trials to see how your specific milk works.

The upside is that it produces a much better quality mozzarella.


I am having trouble with getting my curds to stretch.

Q. I am having trouble with getting my curds to stretch. I make Caciocavallo and lately I can never get the curds to stay together once the incubation period is complete. They just fall apart and never get to where they stay together for stretching. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

A. The reason for this is that they’re just too dry. In Caciocavallo you need to stay moist enough so that the curds consolidate in a matter of minutes under just their own weight. The moisture issue may be caused by cutting, stirring, or excess acid development.


Have a cheese making question, we're here for you: info@cheesemaking.com

Meet a Fellow Cheese Maker

Greg Lapp in Sanger, California

Greg Lapp has a press he made from stones and scrap wood. He says he can press with up to 150 pounds of pressure! When you see the picture, you will wonder, as we do, how in the world he keeps it balanced!

Greg is definitely a dyed in the wool do-it-himselfer. In addition to making cheese, he makes Kombucha, vinegar, sourdough bread, beer, wine and he forages for mushrooms. He's also a musician who writes his own music. In other words - he's just another fascinating cheese maker!

News From Fellow Cheese Makers

Biegel Family Video

Thought you might like to see the video I just posted :) It follows Breanne as she shows how we store our cheese through the winter and also how to rub and scrape the mould off it.

We don't have too much cheese left, but we're enjoying what we have and are eagerly looking forward to the next flow of milk! At the moment all the kids are drinking and thriving on it!!

How to store cheese through the winter: https://youtu.be/1jq6M0mmbPQ

Amberlin Biegel, Alberta, Canada


Please send your cheese making news & photos to: moosletter@cheesemaking.com